When Moses was sent by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, he asked God “whom should I say sent me?” And God says: “Yahweh.”
With the gift of this name, a relationship between God and his people is inaugurated. He is not some distant deity un-involved with humanity. He is Yahweh, who knows his people; who is known by his people; and who saves his people.
Jesus is given his name by God the Father through the angel Gabriel. “Jesus” means “God saves.” So God’s plan of salvation is further revealed.
Through the name of Jesus we can come to know and follow him. All the mysteries of Jesus’ life are “stored” under his name. It is the doorway to our relationship with him. It contains all our memories of him. It helps us to praise and worship him.
St Paul said to the Phillippians: “at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:1-11).
When we say the name of Jesus, when we pray using his name, when we tell others we are his followers, we are saying something about him and ourselves: Jesus is Lord and Savior, God in the flesh; we are his disciples.
In the Acts of the Apostles (4:12), St. Luke proclaims that there is no “other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”
Perhaps we could call a rose by some other name and it would still smell as sweet, but the name of Jesus has no substitute. It is the God-given name of our Savior and through it we come to know him, to love him, to follow him, and to receive his salvation.